Former Valley entertainment writer takes on dueling piano bars, reality TV in her debut novel

By Lauren Gilger
Published: Wednesday, May 31, 2023 - 11:42am
Updated: Wednesday, May 31, 2023 - 11:48am

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Michelle Hoffman The Second Ending
Tony Taafe, Ballantine Books
Michelle Hoffman, author of “The Second Ending”

It isn’t so often that you get a second chance to write your own ending. But, that’s exactly what happens in Michelle Hoffman’s debut novel — and in her own life.

The former Arizona Republic arts and entertainment writer got a lot of rejections before an agent said yes to her first book. It comes out from Ballantine Books on Wednesday. 

It’s called “The Second Ending,” and in it, Hoffman traces the intertwined paths of two piano players: a former child prodigy named Prudence and a young internet sensation named Alexei. They end up facing off on a wildly popular dueling piano reality TV competition. 

The Show spoke with Hoffman more about it, beginning with how her own experience as a pianist shaped these characters. 

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